I remember what it was like the first Sunday I walked into the big red doors at 301 Garden. I had just moved from North Carolina, and I was checking out Hoboken Grace on a recommendation of a colleague. I was really hesitant to try a new church on my own. I had always gone to church with my family, and on this particular Sunday, the weight of being alone in a strange place was heavy on my heart.
I will never forget that experience. From the moment I entered, there was a feeling of home — the one feeling I had not expected to feel at all. Before I even sat down, I was greeted by such warm smiles and hospitalities. But what followed my first visit is the treasure I hold dearly. I wasn’t forgotten or overlooked. I was cared for. There was a personal invite. The people I came in contact with gave me a beautiful gift that I wasn’t expecting: connection.
Connection at Hoboken Grace comes in various forms. Whether experienced through dinner groups, serving on an impact team, getting together at connection events or celebrating next steps, it is a gift we can all share.
In John 17:23, Jesus explains connection this way: “I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.”
This time of year often allows us to partake in the joy of giving. The gift I received is one I wish to pass on to our guests at Hoboken Grace. I want to make sure someone feels at home when they walk in. To know that the heaviness of being alone is something they do not have to carry, and that there is a seat at the table where they can experience community. The gift of connection shared with me has led to almost six years in a “home” I never expected, and a community that I cherish deeply.
Take a moment to reflect on your experiences at Hoboken Grace. How are you sharing connection? Did you know there is an Assimilation Team specifically built so that people find connection and don’t fall through the cracks? Join us as we celebrate big and welcome those to the table.
To learn more about the team, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.